Defence in Western Australia is located mainly in the populated southwest of the State with an increasing presence around the Pilbara and North West Shelf.
HMAS Stirling is located at Garden Island, which has an area of approximately 1,270 hectares. The naval base provides support to Western Australian home-ported units and to ships and submarines visiting the area. Key members of the Defence establishment in Stirling include the Headquarters of the Australian Submarine Squadron; Submarine Training and Systems Centre; the Australian Clearance Diving Team 4; and the ANZAC and Collins Class sustainment offices.
The only ARA unit in Western Australia is the elite Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) located at Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne in Perth’s beachside western suburbs. Service in SASR requires the highest commitment of personnel to pass the gruelling ‘selection’ course, followed by intensive, specialised training in Special Forces roles.
Army Reserve units include the 13th Brigade and Regional Force Surveillance Units (RFSU). Headquarters 13th Brigade is located at Irwin Barracks, Karrakatta, situated between Fremantle and Perth.
The Royal Australian Air Force’s RAAF Base Pearce is 35kms north of Perth. It is the only operational Air Force base in the west and is primarily home to 2 Flying Training School and 79 Squadron. RAAF Base Pearce is also home to The Republic of Singapore’s 130 Squadron.
The RAAF maintains RAAF Bases Learmonth and Curtin (near Derby) as bare bases ready to be activated when needed.